MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – A Midland man is behind bars after investigators said he was allegedly found squatting in, and tearing down, a vacant home; the damaged home was found while officers were investigating a series of thefts. Joseph Sosa, 39, has been charged with burglary of a habitation, unauthorized use of a vehicle and two counts of property theft.
According to an affidavit, on October 17, a detective with the Midland Police Department received a call from a victim in an on-going burglary investigation- the woman had previously reported that someone had broken into her home in either August or September while she was away from her home for an extended time. The victim contacted police that day because she received a tip that her stolen tools could be found in the back yard of an abandoned home.
Investigators responded to the home in question and found Sosa living there; they also found the tools that had been stolen during that summer burglary. Additionally, detectives found other property reported stolen in other open investigations, namely a stolen Chevrolet truck as well as a golf cart that had been reported stolen by a local museum.
According to court records, while searching the home and yard for other stolen property, detectives discovered that Sosa had been squatting in the vacant home without permission. Shockingly, they also found that Sosa had seriously damaged the home.
Investigators said in an affidavit that the “property owner stated Sosa definitely did not have permission to be inside, nor did he have permission to tear the house apart. By saying tear the house apart (this) means literally. The back half of the house was completely torn down.”
Detectives said that stolen items were found in the yard, the garage, and in what were once bedrooms inside the residence. During an interview, Sosa reportedly admitted that he had stolen the items found that day. Aside from the damaged home, investigators said Sosa painted the golf cart black and removed all of its electrical components.
Sosa was arrested and taken to the Midland County Detention Center where he remained as of Thursday afternoon. His bond has been set at a combined $46,000.